Promoting Positivity within Senior Rehabilitation

Moving into senior rehabilitation can bring about strong emotions; frustration at needing to be there, worried about what comes next, and fear of never being able to leave are just a few in a wide range of emotions that one might feel. It’s normal to feel this way, but the mindset we bring into difficult situations can have an effect on the outcome. If residents come into senior rehabilitation with a positive outlook and focusing on regaining their independence, they may have a more enjoyable experience.

Positive Thinking

Sunny Vista Senior Rehabilitation

Positive thinking is a powerful tool that can help us achieve goals faster and more thoroughly. While it’s natural to experience negative thoughts and emotions, especially after a fall or hospital stay, cultivating a more optimistic mindset can have profound benefits. Thinking positively involves focusing on the good, the possible, the hopeful, and avoiding dwelling on the negative, the pessimistic, or the impossible. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges, but instead trying to approach those challenges with a determination and a belief that the best case scenario will happen. The first step in reframing the way we think starts with analyzing our self talk.

Self Talk

Self-talk is the way we speak to and about ourselves either internally or outwardly. If you wake up each morning focused on how awful the day will be, that doom and gloom will become the reality. You have already decided that your day will be bad and now everything that happens during that day will be viewed through that negative lens. But what if you woke up and you decided that you would make the best out of whatever the day had to offer? Hard tasks may not seem as hard, but you may find that encouraging yourself through the challenges of the day provides a better outcome than if you bully yourself with negative self-talk when things get hard. Studies have shown that negative thoughts and lack of motivation can hinder the rehabilitation process, however, residents who focus on what they can control, celebrate small wins, and remind themselves that the rehab stay is temporary tend to progress faster.

Avoiding Negative Thinking

In addition to focusing on positive self-talk, being aware of how you view situations can also help change one’s thinking to be more positive. When faced with a challenging situation avoid “Catastrophizing” or “Magnifying” the worst case scenario. Instead of automatically assuming the worst without analyzing the situation or making small problems much bigger (magnifying); focus on the realities of the situation and what possible solutions there may be.

Rehabilitation for seniors

Try to avoid personalizing or blaming others when things are hard. Things aren’t necessarily anyone’s fault. Blaming yourself or others won’t be helpful on the road to recovering and independence. Instead, focusing on small achievable next steps can replace the negative thoughts surrounding finding blame for any given situation. Trying to focus on achieving each small step will also keep you from polarizing thinking, or thinking that things are either good or bad. Sometimes good things can come from hard situations, but how you view those situations can be the determining factor on the outcome.

Focus on the Goal

Positive thinking and goal-setting are pivotal for residents throughout the rehabilitation process after a fall or hospital stay. Maintaining an optimistic outlook and focusing on what is possible can significantly improve the likelihood of being able to return home. The more focused a resident may be on never being able to go home, the more likely they will need to transition to assisted living and not be able to return home.

Senior Rehabilitation at Sunny Vista

Sunny Vista Colorado Springs Gym - state of the art equipmentAt Sunny Vista, our goal is for residents in our senior rehabilitation to be able to go back to living an empowered and independent life at home. We believe that bringing in a positive attitude and outlook throughout a resident’s stay will not only lend to a more enjoyable experience, but also may help them regain their independence faster. With enrichment activities, knowledgeable and committed professionals, and a wide range of services, we are committed to providing a positive place for residents to achieve their goals.

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